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McGlinn Hall prepares for annual Casino Night fundraiser

| Friday, January 26, 2018

The women of McGlinn Hall will be taking on South Dining Hall’s Oak Room as blackjack, roulette and Texas Hold ’em dealers for Casino Night, the hall’s signature event, starting at 10 p.m. Friday.

Open to all Notre Dame, Saint Mary’s and Holy Cross students for $5, Casino Night is McGlinn’s annual three-hour fundraiser for St. Adalbert Catholic School, a grammar school in South Bend. Junior Rachel Belans, co-commissioner of the event, said all proceeds will directly benefit the school.

“The money we make at this event goes a long way in helping [Saint Adalbert’s] do all that they do to support their students,” she said. “Beyond that, Casino Night will be a ton of fun — all the games are easy to learn, there is the potential to win some awesome prizes and there will be lots and lots of food.“

Photo courtesy of Marisa Lucht

Women of McGlinn Hall gather at last year’s Casino Night. This year’s event will be held Friday, and all participants will be given $2,000 of fake money to gamble for various prizes that will be awarded.

To start the night, Belans said attendees will receive $2,000 in fake money and can gamble away the money for a variety of prizes to be showcased at the end of the night.

“The winner gets a $50 bookstore gift card, and we also have lots of other cool prizes up for grabs: a Pure Barre starter pack with five free classes and some Pure Barre gear, a pound of fudge from Kilwins and gift cards to a number of Eddy Street establishments,” she said.

With a new location as well as a variety of decorations and prizes, Belans said she hopes to draw record attendance to the event and raise as much money as possible for St. Adalbert’s.

“The night will be a lot of fun — there will be music, food and fun photo-ops, plus everyone will receive plenty of [fake gambling] money to use any way they’d like,” she said.

Along with co-commissioner junior Elizabeth Greason and other McGlinn residents, Belans said the event organizers have prepared for the night by ordering decorations, collecting prize donations from Eddy Street businesses, publicizing the event across campus and running blackjack training sessions.

[Editor’s note: Greason is the Sports Editor for The Observer.]

“There will be people with all levels of experience with roulette, blackjack and Texas Hold ’em, so everything will be very laid back — we can go as slow or as fast as anyone wants to go,” Belans said.

Sister Mary Lynch, the rector of McGlinn, said Casino Night has been a strong tradition of the dorm, predating her arrival 13 years ago.

“When we do things on this campus that are fundraisers, I think it’s important that students as much as possible participate in those types of events especially,” Lynch said. “I think the other thing is that it helps reinforce and build the whole dynamic of community — working together to put the event on, working together during the event and then knowing that we’re benefitting children who might not have some of the things they could get if it weren’t for our contributions.”

Lynch said McGlinn treats Casino Night as a high-class event, with some women dressing up as they would for a semi-formal.

“It always has intrigued me that a women’s hall has a gambling event, but it’s a success,” she said.

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About Kelli Smith

Kelli Smith is a junior at the University of Notre Dame. Originally from El Paso, Texas, she is currently serving as Associate News Editor at the Observer and is pursuing a double major in political science and film, television and theatre with minors in journalism and computing.

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